A delegation headed by the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Patrick Andrews, presented Belize’s national report under the Third Cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) to the Human Rights Council on November 12. In his opening remarks, CEO Andrews updated the Council on the advancements made in the implementation of recommendations received from the second UPR. Recommendations covered rights such as equality and non-discrimination, right to an adequate standard of living, health, education, efforts being made to reduce prolonged pre-trial detention, improvements to Belize’s national human rights framework, and progress in the advancement of women.
Belize received 124 recommendations of which it accepted 98 including the rights to education, health, sexual and reproductive health, gender equality, gender-based violence, non-discrimination, the inclusion of persons with disabilities, and the establishment of a national human rights institute in accordance with the Paris Principles.
During the interactive dialogue, some countries expressed support for Belize’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and for the holding of a referendum on whether to refer Guatemala’s claim to Belize’s continental, insular territories and the maritime areas, to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The UPR is a mechanism of the Human Rights Council established on March 15, 2006 by the UN General Assembly.